San Diego Padres prospects to watch at the MLB trade deadline
The San Diego Padres are reportedly in the conversation to trade for Juan Soto, but the Washington Nationals likely won’t make that an easy task. The Padres will probably have to trade some of their top prospects to acquire him at the trade deadline — or any other pieces of the puzzle that can help them at down the stretch.
Luckily, they have some good prospects across several positions that make the likelihood of acquiring Soto realistic.
FanGraphs compiled a list of the Padres top prospects, some of whom should be traded and some shouldn’t.
Padres catching prospect Luis Campusano
Luis Campusano was a second-round pick for the Padres in 2017. He’s played a few games in MLB with the Padres but has never stuck around in the majors. He’s currently assigned to Triple-A El Paso.
Campusano hits extremely well. This season, he’s hitting .310/.380/.458 for an OPS of .838. The Padres initially signed him for his hitting potential, which has proven to be successful each season. He was signed with a $1.3 million bonus.
Campusano first made his MLB debut in 2020 but sat out most of the season with a wrist injury. Since then, he’s been called up to the Padres inconsistently, but mainly plays in MiLB.
His power at bat may be enticing to the Nationals for a Soto trade, and he should be considered.
Padres RF prospect Robert Hassell III
Robert Hassell III was drafted in the first round in 2020 and has already stood out. He’s yet to make his MLB debut, but he played in the All-Star Futures Game this season. He’s playing at High-A and doing extremely well.
Hassell is hitting .311/.387/.485 for an OPS of .872. He also has great walk and strikeout percentages (11.0 and 18.0, respectively). He ranks 23rd on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list.
According to MLB.com, “Hassell established himself as the best pure high school hitter in his Draft class and his advanced bat-to-ball skills immediately translated to pro ball.”
Hassell would be a good trade option because of his early success and would be especially enticing since he could replace Soto in the outfield.
Padres CF prospect James Wood
James Wood was drafted in the second round of the 2021 draft with a $2.6 million bonus. He’s currently playing at Single-A and is hitting .325/.447/.563 for an OPS of 1.010.
He has a high isolated power of .238 with great walk and strikeout percentages (16.8 and 17.3). He ranks 90th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list.
According to MLB.com, he flew under the radar until attending IMG Academy to focus on baseball. He “had a strong summer on the showcase circuit, putting him firmly on the radar as a toolsy prospect with tremendous upside.”
Wood likely wouldn’t be a great trade option because of how low he is in the farm system and his lack of time playing at this level, but being among the top 100 prospects does give him potential.
Padres SS prospect Jackson Merrill
Jackson Merrill was drafted in the first round in 2021 and currently plays at Single-A. He’s hitting .393/.452/.518 for an OPS of .970 at Single-A this season. He was moved up from the rookie league.
Merrill is continuously improving and according to MLB.com, he “has a good feel for hitting and some power that he’ll grow into as he continues to develop.”
He’s likely not developed enough yet to be considered for a Soto trade. However, he reportedly has good work ethic that may give him potential in the future.
Padres 3B prospect Eguy Rosario
Eguy Rosario was drafted in 2015 and currently plays at Triple-A. This season, he’s hitting .278/.367/.492 for an OPS of .859. He’s a power hitter with an isolated power of .215.
He’s a dedicated player. According to MLB.com, he played in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2020 when the pandemic prevented him from playing in MiLB. He’s also reportedly a versatile player that does just as well on the field as he does hitting.
He’d be a good option to consider in a trade package. He hits well and has experience playing shortstop and second base as well, so the Nationals could utilize him in a variety of spots.